By Jodie Lynn
Is there such a thing as balancing chores between kids who are two years apart? I have an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. The girl wants to do more chores than her brother and even does them better. It's a constant struggle to get him to complete his chores each week. Should I allow him to pay her to do certain ones that he hates?
ANSWER FROM READER:
I allow my three kids to trade off their chores. The key to our situation is to set up basic rules so that no one feels like they are doing more work than anyone else. Also, if they make a change in their household assignments, they have to make me aware of it at least one week in advance. If I do not know about it, the next week the kid who was supposed to have done it has to do the same chore for the next two weeks without trading. So far, this system has worked pretty well for us. - Carla Gonzalez in Forth Worth, TX
Allowing one sibling to pay the other one for doing their chores might work out if it's not the same ones over and over. In your situation, it would be easy for your 10-year-old son to take advantage of his 8-year-old sister. Although, if your daughter really does do the chore better, why not just assign it to her and find another one for your son? It may appear that he is lazy but what he may need is new responsibilities to sort of change up his normal chore routine. Also, now that the weather is nice, maybe he can do more outside to help. Everyone needs a little change of scenery now and then. Be sure that you or someone else is not buying or helping him to buy things that he may want. This way, you will inspire him to do more chores to save more money by having to pay for his own stuff while instilling a higher level of interest in following through with his own chores. Who knows, he may even ask for more.
CAN YOU HELP?
How often should I allow my kids to go swimming this summer if they both seem to begin to peel after only seven or eight times. The allergist says they are allergic to the chlorine but it is not life-threatening. However, this can't be a good thing either. Can I ask the pool owner to lower the amount of chlorine in the water? Why is it so high to begin with?
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